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Of course size is going to be a consideration when you’re buying a food dehydrator. You’ve got to make sure it’s big enough you can do a large load but compact enough to fit on your kitchen counter (or in your garage, or wherever you plan to use it). Beyond that, though, there are some other important factors to consider. Here are three that should be at the top of your list.

This item comes with everything you need to get started. COSORI

Sure, you want a dehydrator built with nice materials so it looks good, but even more important is how the food tastes when it comes out and how healthy it will be. High-end dehydrators tend to use stainless steel trays. They don’t impart any flavor (or chemicals) on your food, and they’re much easier to clean.

Great Value

The components are all dishwasher safe. OSTBA

Many low-end food dehydrators don’t have any switches or dials. You just plug one in, and it heats up. While the simplicity is nice, it can lead to over-cooked food. Some foods really need to be dried low and slow, while others should be dried hot and fast. An adjustable temperature knob can make a big difference in how your food turns out.

Also Consider

A rear-mounted fan means you won’t have to shuffle trays to get even distribution. Excalibur

You wouldn’t think something as simple as a fan would make a big difference, but it really does! Without one you’ll have to shuffle trays in an attempt to keep your food from drying unevenly. It’s a huge pain, which a dehydrator with a fan will save you from.